Senin, 27 Juli 2009

Bits 'N Pieces of Gratitude

A flower garden asks little and offers much. Some water which is given to us. Weeds pulled if you are inclined. Sunlight which we can't provide. Space, decent dirt, and maybe compost if you have it.

Clearly coneflowers attract.
The outcome is always the same.



We all have wings.

Then there are those who are on their way to garden pleasures and stop by the blue tarp folding area. These critters - what we call the circuit beetle and longlegger - re-defined the tarp's use, making it a rest stop. They moved on after the photo session.

From a distance, and thanks to a yip from one of the dogs, I saw and captured our fawns. Mom was close at hand. Silence was called for because no words were needed.

Jumat, 17 Juli 2009

How's the View?

Laws are tightening up about talking and twitter and messaging while driving. We can't drink. It's not good to eat a meal. Changing clothes is, well, do-able, unadvisable. Where does taking photos fall? No one has passed a law or even brought it up to the radio talk show hosts.

I'll keep on snappin'. Once in awhile I follow an interesting rear. Here's one. A farmer with a sense of humor, driving crop to the Thursday night Farmers' Market at the fairgrounds no doubt.
Look at the bell pepper box! Hot Darn! Or as they probably say at their home, "El's Bells, Maw, close the barn door before the horse gets out."

You know, one of the things we rarely address is how our car looks from behind. And yet, think about the number of people who see that and get to know you, just a little. Perhaps it is a sensitive issue to some of you. It can be touchy. Just the other day husband told me my tail pipe seemed a bit loose and before I was too enraged I figured out he meant on my car. :-)

Kamis, 16 Juli 2009

A Heart for Nature

WESLEY THE OWL is a true story about a girl-to-woman and her rescued barn owl. It has been raved about in many circles, probably more by biologists than us regular folks. One catch phrase stood out after I closed the book. It was the author's identification of "nature deficit disorder". So many people do have it.
We joke about city kids not knowing the real size of a cow or pig or horse. But how many of us these days really hear the songbirds? How many of us know a vole from a mole? How many of us understand we are often the reason for endangered species being endangered, not evolution? How many of us don't accept responsibility for too many domesticated animals and reptiles not being wanted?

Just wanted you to see the perfection in nature. We can draw hearts freehand and we can use graphic programs to create them. Nothing compares to one found in nature. Next time you sense you have a deficit, that your system needs something, think of the heart-shaped nose on this kitty and go out and enjoy nature at its best.

Rabu, 15 Juli 2009

oooouuuuu - ick

There they were, embedded in the morning offering provided by one of the dogs, tapeworm segments. Thank goodness for baggies and latex gloves. The sample was collected and taken in so medication could be issued for the foster dog.

Since the poor girl had heartworm treatments yesterday and today the tapeworm medicaion had to wait until tomorrow to start.

Then I noticed, hmmm, everyone seems to have tapeworm. Whoops.

My a-ha moment arrived. I realized that what I was seeing is sesame seeds, undigested. Yes, I'd given them sesame seed sticks as extra special treats. What goes in does come out.

I confessed to all who knew of my earlier diagnosis, and I returned the meds.

We are worm free. Pause to love!

Senin, 13 Juli 2009

What Would Be Your Perfect Day?

Suppose you were given a day that would forever have your name on it, this one day in all of time. Whenever you would think of a time you were content you would remember this day. It would be your perfect day. How would you love to spend it?

How often we say "perfect"; it's over-used, just as the word "love" is over-used. They are both filled with expectation. No one person is perfect. I'm not sure any thing is. What may be a perfect fit or match today, be it leftovers in just the right sized container or the right person coming along at the right time, changes. The leftovers get picked over and the container is then too big; the right person still may be the right person but the discovered imperfections often are what really make him/her so.

And, love, let's not even go there. I love fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes. I love my husband. Ummmm, a little difference there, don't you see? Love those _________. Love that __________. It/they are perfect with ____________.

Sound like anyone you know?

Know this: today IS your day. In many ways you will never know it is perfect; you didn't make the day. God made it and He loves you. The rest just doesn't matter, except what you do with what He provides.

Kamis, 09 Juli 2009

Grandpa, How Did You Know?

Long ago and not so far away, my grandparents lived and farmed. Grandpa, whom I never knew, participated in a plan offered by Modern Woodsmen of America. Today is my grandfather's birthday, a fact I didn't know for decades until one day I told my mother that July 9th is my favorite day of the year - something good always happens on July 9th. Along the way he was given a certificate and what appears to have been a huge calendar or print.
Regardless of what this last item started out to be it is dated 1898 and was framed at some point so it now is mounted above our fireplace, with the certifcate affixed to the back of it, keeping like items together, not a common practice in this household!

Today one of our foster dogs, Serena, who lived here from January thru March 2008, came to stay for a few days and it was like "old home week" for her and her then-foster mate, Sally. Sally is ours now. Upon her arrival we made small talk with her owner. I congratulated him on being appointed head basketball coach at one of the private religious high schools nearby - a very competitive rival for other schools. It had to be a plum of an appointment. I indicated I'd read about him in the newspaper and am just now am saying congrats...but I just said "job", nothing specific.

He looked puzzled and asked which job.

I replied "...head coach..."

He announced he'd just taken a new job, two weeks ago and was wondering how it made the paper already! Obviously it had not.

He is involved in opening up an office for Modern Woodsmen of America, back in this area, as they have been gone for a long time.

The world is small in so many ways. In just a few minutes we spanned over 100 years and matched up one person's family history with another person's family future. All this, of course, came about because of a dog.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa. I wish I had known you.

Senin, 06 Juli 2009

Power Napping

Really great dogs live in this house and yard. And, we have terrific foster dogs. Sometimes all their little clocks get wound too tightly and they get a bit rambunctious but more often than not they behave well, when it's just us here. Visitors are treated to loud, ferocious barking as they approach. It quickly is accompanied by clicking nails and fast-paced scrambling across hard floors as each enters the indoor Ididoran to get to the front door.
Speaking of Alaska...what is the governor up to now? I digress. Back to the dogs, well, maybe it wasn't much of a digression, the Ididoran in Alaska is a dog race.
This past week has been exceptional. I offer that in the kindest of ways. You see, the dogs choose to sleep, whenever they want to sleep, wherever they want to sleep, and it isn't always from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., straight through. We are far from that these days. As I pen this post it is absolutely silent in the house for all 6 are peacefully resting, zonked, not a snore or snort, not a wiggle or woggle among them. And, I'm bloggy-eyed, or is it groggy-eyed, from their night time antics. They shift, they half-dozingly snarl, they vie for the best Nylabone, they pace, and by 4:12 a.m. they are bored so start wondering what's going on outside. Of course they must go see and that means a nudge, a head-butt, a paw push towards one of us.Just look at this baby...
Baxter is representing all of them. I wouldn't dare risk waking them, would I?

The Rant

There's time, right now, to blog. So where are my ideas? Where are all the things to which I ascribed the statement, "I'll blog about that."? Perhaps a mishmash, or for the fancy vocabulary readers, a potpourri, is most suitable.
Like everyone else, we made it through the 4th. Dismal weather dampened spirits, fireworks, and clothes. Downtown Springfield Inc attempted to celebrate Lincoln's 200th birthday (again) in a big way, with a "taste", beer, music, all the trimmings. It was, of course, outside, and therefore, not so well-attended.
Going back to a few days earlier, we received the report that our desktop is dead. Here's my testimony AGAINST Staples...the desktop wouldn't power up. Ed packed it up and took it to Staples. He learned that the diagnosis charge was half of the normal price so was in a good mood when he came home, leaving his machine behind. He awaited the outcome, due in no more than 48 hours. At 72 hours he started calling and eventually talked to the young man who did the diagnosis and said "It runs fine." Seriously doubting that, I went along on the pick up ride. The young man was there and I asked him to tell me exactly what he did to it. "Powered it up and it started fine." Claims he did it 5 or 6 times. Not caring what we said he sent us packing and high-tailed it to the back of the store where he could continue his endeavors as a computer expert.
You know where this is going. I set everything up. Nothing happened. A real computer expert, friend, came by and checked it. It's dead. Half-priced diagnosis is still too expensive when what you're told is useless and wrong. The rest of the story is that we are going to skip a trip to Staples to buy a new desktop. Could there be a lesson there for the store employees when it comes to true diagnosis and customer service? I just wonder.
Usually we're quite happy with Staples although this is our second recent experience that has caused us extra work.
Speaking of which, I could really rag on AT & T, even as a former employee of the corporation (back when it was a business icon). Buying an iPhone is no easy thing. Suffice it to say, I am NOT on the cell phone account but we both are listed on the global account, under which the cell phone charges appear. The rep could not sell me an iPhone, first because I was not "...due for an upgrade for 3 weeks..." and the next time, when I was qualified, because I am not Ed. I have decided God doesn't want me to have an iPhone, my cell phone is fine. I advised the young man that if AT & T didn't want to take my offered cash and chose instead to send me out the door without a new phone and extended contract then I'd go. And, I did.
See, if I'd been willing, I could have jumped thru the hoops of calling Ed, having him call customer service (what?) to get me added to the cell phone listing that is all the little store can see, and then the clerk would wait and I would wait. He was certain this was a 3-4 minute process (uh-huh). The next step would be for him to see my name which would then raise my status to authorized human. I could have then bought a phone. Or, I could have driven 20 miles home and 20 miles back, this time with Ed, and he could say, "Sell us a phone.". I felt as if I was underage, way underage. I suggested he call Ed to verify my legitimacy. Nope. Can't do that. I turned heel and left.
In my previous careers I would have suggested a tactic I used to employ - solve the problem for the customer. What would it have taken for him to call Ed and do a conference call to customer service and get it taken care of right then and there with minimum effort for the customer? Silly me. Who is this about anyway? Well, I didn't mention it, until now, so he didn't do it. If and when God releases one of these phones for me to have I hope He sends me to another AT &T Corporate store (only place you can get them). First though I want to see what the hidden charges are going to be...I hear there are some. Figures.
Oh, but don't think I'm really complaining for I am not. Neither the computer nor the iPhone threatens my sense of humor let alone my quality of life. The weather on the 4th only led to contemplative time, realizing and recalling how fortunate Americans are and how we should acknowledge that with unified spirit, every day. Thank the Lord. Fly the flag. Hug your friends and family. By the time you get done wtih those things, and enjoying the uplift it puts in your life, you won't have time to cripe about people who don't think beyond minimal performance levels.